Research is a messy, creative, and powerful process that ultimately leads to learning and the creation of new knowledge.
An important part of the research process is turning your interests into topic ideas. A good topic should:
Great topic ideas take time to develop.
Your topic is what you will explore via research, critical engagement, and writing. It might shift and change, but you identify it early in the research process.
Your thesis is the argument you are making about your topic, informed by your research. It should come later in your research process, after you have critically engaged with a diverse array of sources.
Research is a process; you must learn about a topic before you can make an informed, intelligent argument. Remember that you are taking part in a scholarly conversation-- just as in a "regular" conversation, you can't successfully participate unless you're listening to what other people have to say.